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Why is the Battleof the Sommeregarded as such a Great military tragedy?

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Introduction

Why is the Battle of the Somme regarded as such a Great military tragedy? In this question I will answer why the Battle of the Somme in 1916 is regarded as such a great Military tragedy. Background Information The Battle of the Somme was regarded as such military tragedy due to many problems. These problems occurred in the operation that was supposed to ensure the British and French victory in World War One. Up until the First World War most military leaders believed that battles and wars weren't won by cavalry charges. The use of trenches made them realise that cavalry was no longer possible, in World War One as warfare changed completely. ...read more.

Middle

Therefore instead of the offensive becoming a joint offensive, it became largely a British attack, because the French backed out and the offensive was rushed forward to June. This was when things started to go wrong. The main aim of the Somme was to "kill as many Germans as possible" according to Rawlinson, one of the commanders of the fourth army. The British chief commander, General Haig knew they weren't getting anywhere. So he intended on achieving a break through on the German trenches. The Battle of the Somme began with a five day bombardment. General When Haig advanced his troops through "No mans land" the Germans only had to fire at the walking British soldiers. ...read more.

Conclusion

Haig's aim was to maintain "steady pressure on the Battle of the Somme." However the last chance of a break through came on the 15th of September 1916, when the British soldiers used tanks for the first time. These tanks were intended to protect the British from German gun-fire and allow the British to crush down the German's trench system. The Germans of course were taken by surprise by these tanks and retreated. The Germans were prepared to give up and let Britain have the title of victory. Then again the British were too slow to take advantage. As a result the Germans had ample of time to build up their own defences. Consequently by the end of the day all British tanks had broken down or were eliminated by the Germans. ...read more.

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